Thursday July 16, 2020 – US President Donald Trump has promised to pump a whopping Ksh3 Billion to build a hospital in Murang’a County as negotiations over the Delmonte Land enters its final stretch.
According to Murang’a Senator, Irungu Kang’ata, the US Government, which is seeking to extend the lease for the American Thika-based processor, agreed to build a teaching and referral hospital in part of the land that will be ceded.
This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered Lands Principal Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri to have the matter settled by the end of July.
“I’m on strict orders by the President and I am leading an exercise of surveying and demarcating the Del Monte land with a view of determining the authenticity of the public claim placed therein and after arbitrating and reconciling the differences, we shall proceed to renew the lease,” Muraguri stated.
As it stands currently, Del Monte owns 22,000 acres of which residents led by Kandara Residents Association chairman, Philip Kamau, want between 5,000 and 8,000 acres put to public use.
They further claimed that out of the total acreage, only 13,000 was under use by the company while the rest lay idle.
Del Monte’s 99 year land lease expires in 2022, with 6,500 jobs at the multi-national fruit grower and processor on the line.
Kang’ata, who’s been on the front line in ensuring an amicable deal is reached, stated that in addition to the hospital, the American Government will also partner with the County in pursuing agricultural projects.
“America and Del Monte have been open to accommodate the demands of the locals.”
“It’s probably the method of engagement that was faulty.”
“We’re now having very structured meetings and are nearly at the point of breaking the impasse,” the Senator stated.
During a visit to Murang’a on July 12th, the US Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter, promised to continue fostering beneficial initiatives that will see the County flourish.
“The US Marafiki means that the United States is going to prove to be the best friend that Kenya could ever look to.”
“The Free Trade Agreement that we have talked about is going to translate into prosperity for the wananchi,” McCarter stated during his address.
He further expressed optimism that the lease impasse will be resolved before it lapses in July 2022.
The Kenyan DAILY POST